ENN Issue 9a
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ENN Issue 9e
Attack in Alta
Norwegians Succumb to Russian Advance

January 2, 2010

Norwegian soldier takes aim at Russian troops during urban battle for Alta

Alta, Norway (ENN) - At 6 am most of the world awoke to a new sunrise, but in this secluded part of the world the sun is barely seen in the winter months. The perpetual darkness coupled with the malaise of a bitter winter's storm only seems to underscore the grim scenery of a land at war.

Indeed, just before 6 am local time Russian helicopters were seen maneuvering in the vicinity north of Alta. Norwegian units defending the town fired on Russian helicopter units, reportedly downing several of them. The Russian probes were twice rebuffed and a mechanized advance that materialized from along the E-6 was met with heavy resistance. 

Although it seemed at first the Russian may have reconsidered their assault, by early morning their mechanized infantry units had crossed the Saga river, bypassed Kronstad, and moved north towards the airport at Elvesbakken.

The Norwegian units that had earlier turned back the helicopter probes again made their stand, but were decimated by a combined force of tanks and mechanized infantry while only achieving minimal gains. The Russians succeeded in crossing the Altaelva river and taking the airport there.

Battle Enters the Streets of Alta

Norwegian defenders in the town turned the Russian advance into a house-to-house fight - an unenviable prospect for any army on the attack. As a sign of their desperation, the Russians responded by deliberately demolishing homes with helicopter rockets and indiscriminately firing tank rounds into the town to trap the soldiers hidden within.

Despite their seeming disregard for civilian casualties, the Russian advance was slow and another unit's attack from south of Alta contributed little to the effort. The battle was reduced to the oxymoronic notion of "hugging", where the combatants are so close they are unable to employ their heavier weapons - like artillery - for fear of killing their own.

The battle was finally decided shortly before 10 am local time when a column of Russian heliborne infantry surrounded the town. The local Norwegian commander communicated his surrender to the Russians and the town was surrendered without further combat.

The Russian commander in the area has since assured western media outlets that all NATO POW's are being well treated and have been removed from the threat of further combat.

NATO Airstrikes Hamper Russian Logistics

However, the Russian victory is not without its costs. NATO air forces have made repeated strikes against not only Alta but the Tana region as well. To date it is reported that all bridges in the area have been demolished. This is certain to effect Russian resupply efforts, particularly for units further south.

"By assuring the neutrality of Sweden and Finland, the Russians seem destined to have granted themselves a very narrow supply corridor," commented one analyst. 

"It's very accommodating of them to establish that chokepoint to NATO. Of course considering their track record of failure in dealing with the third-world quality Chechan rebels, perhaps the Russians realize they don't want to engage too many modern armies simultaneously." 

The air strikes are said to be taking their toll not only on Russian supply lines but also on assets in the area. Russian aircraft have been seen shot out of the sky and even more damage is reported on the ground with numerous vehicles burning and long trains of casualties being evacuated to rear areas.

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